Monday Mornings with Madison

Why Personality Type Matters at Work – Part 3

Personality not only plays a big part in how we get along with others, it also plays a HUGE part in how well we handle the demands of life.  Personality impacts not only how we do in school, but how well we do at work and in life.  Our personality influences our behavior.  One might even say that personality and behavior are inextricably linked.  Personality is what makes up our qualities and peculiarities. Continue reading

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Why Personality Type Matters at Work – Part 2

Word Count: 1,645
Estimated Read Time: 5 1/2 Min.

Hiring for Agreeableness

Personality plays a BIG part in how we get along with others.  Of course, this impacts not only one’s personal life but professional life as well.  Our personality is always with us, influencing what we think, what we feel, and how we behave.

Each person’s personality is comprised of five broad personality traits.  A trait is also referred to as an attribute, characteristic, feature, particularity, peculiarity, or quality.  Known as the Big Five, these traits were defined in the 1970s by two research teams led by Paul Costa and Robert R. McCrae of the National Institutes of Health and Warren Norman and Lewis Goldberg of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Oregon.  The Big Five are the ingredients that make up each individual’s personality.  The acronym spells OCEAN. Continue reading

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Why Personality Type Matters at Work – Part 1

Word Count: 1,895
Estimated Read Time: 8 Min.

Psychologists universally agree that personality plays a huge role in our everyday lives.  Everything people do reflects their personality.  It is always with us, influencing what we think, what we feel, and how we behave.  One might say that personality is embedded in our behavioral DNA.  Personality affects how people interact with one another and how well-suited people are for the type of work they do.  So while we can override our natural personality inclinations, it is not advisable or wise. Continue reading

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Debunking the Perfection Myth

Word Count: 1,344
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Steve Jobs.  Martha Stewart.  Winston Churchill.  Serena Williams.  Gene Kelley.  Lance Armstrong.  Michelangelo.   James Cameron.   David Foster Wallace.  What do these men and women – who come from vastly different careers, time periods and nationalities — have in common?  They are or were notorious perfectionists.  But what exactly does that mean? Continue reading

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Just How Important is Teamwork in Business? Part 4

Word Count: 1,665
Estimated Read Time: 6 ½ min.

Getting a diverse group of people to work collectively, collaboratively and cooperatively together toward one common goal is the ultimate goal of any organization.   That’s because, among other things, collaboration allows an organization to capture and utilize the fund of collective intelligence and talents.   As Yale University professor Halford E. Luccock said, “no one can whistle a symphony.  It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”  A unified “we” is much smarter and stronger than any “I”.  But it requires unity and cohesion.  Many instruments playing independently produce noise.  But many instruments playing in perfect harmony produce great music.  That requires teamwork. Continue reading

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Just How Important is Teamwork in Business? Part 3

Word Count: 1,512
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Getting a diverse group of people to work collectively, collaboratively and cooperatively together toward one common goal is the ultimate goal of any organization.  To see teamwork in action, one need look no further than the team sport of rowing.  Indeed, rowing is considered by many to be the ultimate teamwork sport.  All team members have to work in unison and be both physically & technically exact.  Every competing athlete, every coach and every behind the scenes team member works together to achieve success.  By working together as a team, a certain amount of self-monitoring kicks in that isn’t present when people work individually.  The best teams experience self-correcting behavior, reducing the need for direction and management. Continue reading

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Just How Important is Teamwork in Business? Part 2

Word Count: 1,713
Estimated Read Time: 7 min.

We already know, from last week, that teamwork is not just a human skill.  The animal kingdom is filled with really impressive (and sometimes downright amazing) examples of teamwork.  Ant cities.  Bee colonies.  Starling murmurations.  To see these tiny creatures working cooperatively with the same synchronicity of a well-trained military unit and the most beautiful water ballet performers should make everyone’s head puzzle in wonder.  It takes a lot of practice, communication and concerted effort for humans to work as a team seamlessly, and yet bees, ants and birds – with brains the size of grains of sand and pebbles –all work in lock-step without practice or effort and with a seemingly limited ability to communicate.  And yet many companies can’t get departments to work cohesively or collaboratively.  Why?

First, employees need to understand that cooperation and teamwork is good not only for the company – which it is – but also for the individual.  Case in point. Continue reading

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Just How Important is Teamwork in Business? Part 1

Word Count: 1,952
Estimated Read Time: 8 min.

Teamwork is critically important in business, and becoming more so as the world becomes increasingly dense, complex and fast-paced.  And yet, few companies invest any money training new employees on how to collaborate within their corporate culture or hire consultants to identify ways to increase teamwork.  The goal is always to increase productivity, efficiency, quality or profitability.  And yet, by increasing teamwork, all of those increase.  Or do they? Continue reading

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Growing Your Career: 10 Hacks for Professional Growth

Word Count: 1,756
Estimated Read Time: 7 min.

Most everyone in the world of work wants to do well.  Grow.  Develop.  But professional growth does not just happen.  Some people’s careers seem to rise meteorically while others ascend at a glacial pace and still others are stuck or are even sliding downhill.  Career growth requires work… and not just doing good work at work.  It takes more than that to climb the ladder of success.  Here are 10 hacks to help fuel career growth. Continue reading

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Leaderspeak: 8 Things Great Leaders Say

Word Count: 1,447
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Anyone who has been in the business world for a period of time is bound to have worked with or for a manager, department head, middle manager or c-suite exec.  Most of these leaders were hired or promoted into positions based on their education and experience in a given field.  While some have leadership experience, the vast majority are just people who were experienced and adept at doing a job and then got promoted to lead a team doing that job.  Think of the Registered Nurse who is promoted to Head Nurse or the Attorney who is chosen Managing Partner of a law firm.  That nurse might have been highly skilled and qualified healthcare professional who never took a single leadership or management course in her life.  And that attorney might have been a rainmaker who was highly skilled at bringing in clients, winning cases and generating revenue, but had never managed anyone other than a paralegal or secretary.   The thought behind such promotions is that those who can do a job well can manage people doing that job.  It implies that leading and managing people requires the same skills used to handle projects, schedules or tasks. Continue reading

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